Nearly seven years is a long time! It may only be one year for a dog or a cat, but for Jodi and I it’s a good portion of our lives and the majority of our married life so far…
The Pearl of Africa is what an explorer and a politician nick-named Uganda many moons ago. I don’t know much about pearls (if I did then i’m sure many of my friends would make fun of me!), but I do know that they are rare, precious and valuable. It is no surprise therefore that men much more accomplished than myself saw it fit to name Uganda in this way.
Jodi and I have spent the last seven years of our lives in Uganda, working with an amazing group of people in a heart-stoppingly beautiful country. Leaving is not easy. I’m not sure I have invested as much in any other area of my working life as I have done here in Uganda. We’ve faced incredible challenges and been granted unbelievable opportunities, and the team of staff, colleagues and friends we have surrounded ourselves with has kept us afloat.
At the moment I can’t imagine what our lives will look like without this group of people and without the work we have poured ourselves into for the last seven years, but I know that God has a plan and that He has led us to move on and back to the UK. I also know that He is always faithful, always good and always in control. These things give me comfort as we enter into this transition period.
For those we leave behind, my heart is aching already. I’m going to miss the smiles, the jokes, the shared experiences, the rejoicing together and the grieving as one… I’m going to miss trying to match-make all the eligible bachelors in our office with their female counterparts, i’m going to miss visiting field sites and seeing lives transformed by the love of our staff, i’m going to miss seeing my team grow in stature and confidence as they realize just how special they are.
Jodi makes fun of me for popping up on this blog once a year (if i’m lucky) and writing a post that gets more comments than all of hers. Well, consider this a culmination of the past years’ musings and pontifications! If it were not for Jodi then this blog wouldn’t exist and we wouldn’t have been here in Uganda, and we wouldn’t be able to write anything of much interest… So thank you Jodi for allowing me to ride on the tip of your coat-tails this one last time!
We’re incredibly excited about coming home, about starting our new roles in the UK with the organization that we love so much and have served with here in Uganda, about rekindling our relationships with friends and family, and about living in a way that glorifies our God having seen what we’ve seen. But we’re also sad… Sad to leave behind the people we love so much, the people that have shared our home, the people that have taken the little we had to offer and built it into something great, the people that have welcomed us with open arms and loving hearts… These are the people that we will never be able to forget, and these are the people that we will continue to love from afar and pray for in spirit.
The only fitting way to end this post is to say a big thank you to Samaritan’s Purse for giving us the opportunity of serving God in Uganda, another thank you to our families and friends for allowing us to leave them for so long, and a final thank you to our Uganda team for being so outstandingly amazing in absolutely everything! We love you and you’ll always remain in our hearts – and for those eligible singles still remaining, we’re not finished yet…!!!